Letters to the editor – November 15, 2019

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Taking Cairnbaan risk seriously


I concur wholeheartedly with Rev Mackenzie’s concerns, the Argyllshire Advertiser, November 3, about the dangers surrounding the Cairnbaan road junction with the A816.

I had to make representations to the council about road signs being covered by vegetation last year.

I travel through this junction most days of the week, often several times per day. Those of us familiar with it know full well to treat it with respect and to be particularly careful when coming away from Cairnbaan towards Lochgilphead.

Like Rev Mackenzie, I am aware of a number of accidents there over the last 12 months. I would estimate at least five, if not more. This is a hugely disproportionate amount compared with other junctions on this road. That fact alone should ring alarm bells with the roads authority.

This, however, is not the be-all-and-end-all. I have personally witnessed more near misses at the junction than I would care to mention. The problem comes particularly, but not exclusively, during the height of the tourist season with drivers who are not familiar with the area.

Rev Mackenzie quite rightly points out there is a deceptive vista that appears to make the road look like a long straight one and despite the presence of warning signs, for some reason, these are ignored.

I thought it rather a trite response from Argyll and Bute Council, which is effectively saying the junction meets all legal requirements sign wise and motorists need to be more aware. It is effectively shrugging its shoulders about the reality of the situation and refusing to take the constant presence of risk seriously.

It really does need someone to come up with a genuine solution that will eliminate these risks as far as humanly possible and hopefully curtail the number of incidents that will inevitably occur in future if nothing positive is done.

Peter J Garrett, Ardrishaig.

Cyclists should make sure they are visible


We are now into gloomier weather conditions and on occasions a low sun casts long shadows on our roads.

I have advice for cyclists who venture on to the highways wearing black hats, black jackets, black trousers, black shoes, carrying black bags and riding their black bikes.

Wear clothes that enhance your visibility, please.

Earlier this year, in such conditions, I passed such a cyclist on my way into Oban. He was just starting on the incline out of Kilmore so the black tarmac was his background.

It was his moving right foot on the pedal I noticed. At first I thought it was a dog on the road until my headlights picked him up.

Tom Cullen, Dunskeig, Ardfern.

Carers need a break too

We would like to invite readers to nominate a deserving carer for a chance of going on a free holiday, while the person they care for comes on a free break with us, Revitalise, through our new Grace Award for Caring.

Carers save the economy £132 billion per year, which is more than the NHS budget. The Grace Award for Caring was named not only because it takes grace to care for someone, but because it takes grace to accept care from someone.

To nominate a carer visit www.revitalise.org.uk/graceawards or call 03033 030145.

Abby Kessock-Philip, Revitalise.

Beware of deer


From October to December, deer are more likely to be on the road as they move down to lower ground to find food and shelter.

The majority of collisions take place in early evening through to midnight, with another peak from 6am to 9am.

Particularly in these peak times, we advise motorists to slow down and watch for deer crossing roads.

Deer can suddenly appear before you have time to brake. If you do hit a deer, report it to the police, even if you are uninjured and your car is not damaged, as the deer may be fatally injured and suffering.

  • Try not to suddenly swerve to avoid hitting a deer. A collision into oncoming traffic would be even worse.
  • Only brake sharply and stop if there is no danger of being hit by following or oncoming traffic.
  • Be aware that more deer may cross after one or two you first see.
  • After dark, use full beam when there is no oncoming traffic to illuminate the eyes of deer – but dip your headlights when you see a deer or other animal on the road to avoid startling it.
  • Report any deer-vehicle collisions to the police, who will contact the person in the area who can best help with an injured deer at the roadside. Do not approach an injured deer yourself as it may be dangerous.

Jamie Hammond, SNH management officer.